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2019 Artist in Focus – Diana Doherty

Diana Doherty, Oboe CSO 2019 Artist in Focus

“What a great pleasure to be the Artist in Focus for the Canberra Symphony Orchestra in 2019! It will be the first opportunity of this kind for me and I am grateful and honoured to have the chance to highlight the oboe in so many different ways.

For my concerto performance in the CSO’s ActewAGL Llewellyn Series, I have chosen Spirit of the Wild by Nigel Westlake, written for me and premiered only last year. It’s a stunning work that I absolutely love playing. Nigel’s writing was inspired by a visit to a remote wilderness in Tasmania and to me you can hear nature in all her contrasts and colours in his music.

It’s a textural, visceral work, challenging to play but sweeping the audience along effortlessly as if on a rolling wave. I also look forward to working again with conductor Jessica Cottis, who I have not seen since she was a part of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra family.

In recital I will play with my dear friend Bernadette Harvey, and we have chosen a program of some of our favourite works as well as something new to us both. Of four composers on the program two are women—one is Australian—and the fourth is something everyone will recognise—a rich, lyrical hour of expressivity.

For the Canberra Weekly Classic Afternoon I have set myself quite a task of three concertos in one concert, simply because I couldn’t bear to leave any of them out! The chance to have artistic input in one of my favourite symphonies was also something I couldn’t resist.

All in all a beautiful program and a valuable opportunity for me to grow and explore new perspectives.

For the Australian Series program, curator Matthew Hindson is our guide. He has put together a program that features both established and emerging Australian composers, explores wind writing in particular, and packages the music in a contextual use of space and acoustic. Another one to look forward to!

On top of all this beautiful music-making, I am so looking forward to playing in Canberra again. With a significant family base as well as many valued colleagues who I see too seldom, I am so happy to be able to contribute and collaborate in this meaningful way, deepening connections and hopefully forging new ones too.”

Diana Doherty
2019 Artist in Focus

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